This Wednesday, March 20th, RCFC member and Past President (2005-06)  John Roberts, will take us on an around the world adventure.  As an inveterate world traveler, John outdid himself between December of 2016 and May of 2017 on a five month long, 360 degree cruise around our planet. He visited 34 countries and 67 ports, travelling with his best friend, Kathleen Batterton.  They saw and (better yet) experienced many cultures and religions.  Their impressions, while vivid and colorful, were full of diversity, filled with the exuberance of life in so many countries, and included a good deal of surprise.  John looks forward to sharing.
The distinguished Mr. Roberts has been a Rotarian since 1986, having joined while working in Botswana.  He is a Fort Collins native, and attended the University of Colorado before joining the U. S. Peace Corps, and subsequently, the U. S. Department of State.   John served our nation in 19 separate countries, and has traveled to 195 nations.  
Despite the blizzard, Tim Jackson, President/CEO of the Colorado Auto Dealers Association, and Mark Zeigler, Director of Clear the Air Foundation, talked about the current status of the auto industry in Colorado, along with some of the history of that industry in the US. 
As described by Zeigler, Clear the Air Foundation (a 501c-3 charitable corporation) has several goals: 1) replace old, polluting vehicles from the roads of Colorado (3,800+ old cars removed to date) with newer, much less polluting vehicles (pollution ratio of 1/100); 2) recycle useable parts of the old cars and destroy the engines so they cannot pollute again; 3) use the proceeds from recycling, along with various college foundations, to grant scholarships (for either training or tool purchase) to students pursuing careers in the automotive field.
Jackson pointed out that the industry has had a significant presence in Colorado since 1902 (the first Denver Auto Show), some 11 years before the advent of the Model-T, some of which were manufactured in Colorado.  In the early 1900s there were some 2000 auto manufacturers in the US, compared with the fewer than 20 companies making the vast majority of cars on the road today.  At the first Denver Auto Show, there were some 27 cars exhibited, all either electric- or steam-powered. That compares with today where each major manufacturer shows more models than that, and most are now powered by internal combustion engines.  Those changes were started by Henry Ford who introduced the assembly line and the franchised dealer-network model for manufacture and distribution of automobiles.
Those changes have been accompanied by dramatic increases in quality (average age of cars on the road 20 years ago was 8.4 years; average age in Colorado today is 13.7 years) and safety (auto accident fatalities have decreased by 1/3 since a high in 1970 in spite of significant increases in population, rate of car ownership, and number of miles driven).  According to Jackson, "there is not a bad car on the market in the US today". 
There is much interest today in diversification of power source (electricity, fuel-cell, & natural gas) and development of autonomous vehicles.  Electric cars account for only some 3% of the vehicles on the road sold in 2018. The total number of EVs on Colo roads (15,000) make up less than 0.2% of overall fleet which totals 5.96 million. Although there is considerable interest in increasing auto efficiency in Colorado (e.g., implementing the California standards), given the vehicle mix and altitude in Colorado, those standards will likely add several thousand dollars to the cost of a new car or truck in Colorado. 
There is some question if a fully autonomous car will ever be possible.  Even if it becomes reality, it is likely that most people will want a car for the family rather than sharing one with others. Thus, even though fully autonomous vehicles would probably have a significant impact on mobility of the aged and the disabled, they would probably not eliminate congestion on the roadways nor would they dramatically increase the abundance of shared rides. 

Zak George is RCFC’s newest Blue Badge member after including his New Member Talk into his presentation on H2-B visas.  George obtained a business management degree from CSU before working at Disney World and discovering landscaping, which he loved.  He started ZGL Company in 2005.  

Bill Schaffter introduced US Air Force Captain Adam Niederhiser, who in turn introduced RCFC’s March Cadet of the Month, Michael Berg. Cadet Burg thanked his parents for instilling a service and hard worth ethic.

FCRC member, Zac George started with his New Member talk, detailing how after receiving a degree from CSU in Business Management he worked at Disneyworld, returned to Ft Collins, got into landscaping and opened his own business in 2005 (ZGL Co).

The remainder of the talk was about the H2-B visa and how it works in Northern Colorado.  First, George made clear two things the H2-B is not - an immigration program, or a cheap source of labor taking jobs from local workers.  The program started in 1987 with fewer than 100 visas issued, reached a high of 160,000 visas, and in 2019 has just 60,000 temporary visas, causing serious problems for seasonal companies such as ZGL Landscaping.  

The need exists because the civilian labor force participation is declining, and there are more jobs available (especially in places like NOCO) than resident workers to fill them.  The goal of the program is not to save money for employers but to create a stream of reliable, skilled (returning) seasonal workers.  Common areas of employment in Colorado include food services, hospitality, construction and landscaping.  Wages depend on location but are $15.75 per hour in NOCO.  Workers for Zac’s business come from Mexico where similar work would pay $10 per day.

Next, Zac detailed the extensive process to get the worker on the job: acceptance of the business into the program, the yearly visa application and assignment process, receiving a (WAC number) from UCIS in San Diego, then the recruitment, hiring, and transporting workers to the job.  Third parties are hired to process workers and transport them to Ft Collins from all over Mexico.  Often Mexican workers in the program recruit hardworking friends and family for future employment.  Challenges unique in our area include getting housing, cars and all the needs we have in this growth area.  Without this program, it is not clear how businesses like ZGL could operate.

Committee Member Harry Muller presented a STEM Educational grant to Preston Middle School.  The grant will be used to fund a student designed Static Flight Simulator at Preston and the STEM Institute.   Accepting the grant was John Howe, Director of the STEM Institutes.

Chair Jack Vogt introduced PSD Global Academy History and English teacher, Cat Lauer, who in turn introduced, then “interviewed” RCFC’s Student of the Month, Gillian Moore.  Ms. Lauer noted Moore’s heart for service and very useful skills at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue animal shelter.  Moore told of falling in love with the work of caring for cats, and even the cleaning of cages.  She plans to attend Front Range Community College then CSU’s school of Veterinary Medicine. 

February 28, noon member Sandra Munger gave her New Member Talk, and became the newest RCFC Blue Badge member.  Sandra recounted her background in Accounting, her work in Health Insurance claims, then her journey back to her first love - becoming a librarian in Canyon, Texas near Amarillo.  She has recently retired to Fort Collins where she spent her earliest years while her father studied at CSU.  She was a Rotarian and past Club President in Canyon, Texas.   She is sponsored by Jean Lamm.  Welcome Sandra!!

Merit Badge University Committee chair Randy Kurtz announced that the most recent MBU was our 26th.  He recognized all Rotarians who helped, then presented a $400 check to Longs Peak Council BSA to offset MBU costs.  BSA Longs Peak Council Senior District Executive John Eastman (also a Rotarian) accepted the check and thanked Rotary.   

Our Teacher of the Month for February is Susan Steinmark, a thirty year teaching veteran, with 23 of those years in the Poudre School District. Introduced by Assistant Principal, Cheryl Day, Susan is a very busy instructional coach and literary interventionist.  Every day she meets with small groups of students from grades one through five who are struggling with reading.  She also mentors and coaches teachers and is proud of the growth she has observed in them.  This activity has led to her to become a consultant at the district level for literacy professional development for PSD staff, leading professional development sessions.  In preparation, she consumes data attempting to catch students before they falter.  She also is part of the district’s literacy curriculum team and the writing curriculum team.  Besides specific help with reading and writing, Susan is keenly interested in moral lessons she can impart to students and works with school and community student service projects called Lighthouse projects.  She is a teacher with a busy schedule and the dedication to fulfill her many responsibilities.  As a student herself, Susan was a Rotary scholarship recipient 35 years ago!

Dr. Amy Franklin, CEO of “Farms for Orphans” (a Loveland-based 501c-3 organization), presented information about hunger among children worldwide and especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as plans for addressing childhood-hunger in the DRC using edible insects, specifically palm weevil larvae, grown under controlled conditions at orphanages there.  Worldwide, edible insects provide a widespread and reasonably available source of protein and micronutrients. 

Worldwide, approximately ½ of all deaths of children under age 5 is from malnutrition.  Even malnourished kids who don’t die suffer from poor health and poor physical and mental development.  Most at-risk youth are from disadvantaged environments, especially in underdeveloped countries.  Some 153 million children worldwide are orphans.  In DRC, there are some 5.1 million orphans, 4.6 million suffering from malnutrition. 

Additional information is available at www.farmsfororphans.org

Community Grants Chair Kathy Nicol presented a check for $3000 to the Executive Director of The Family Center/La Familia.  Funds will be used to purchase kitchen equipment including a refrigerator and a dishwasher for their kitchen.  More than 100 children daily will benefit by receiving healthy meals while under the Center’s care.
February 20, Satellite member Mara Johnson, gave her classification talk and received her blue badge from Robin Steele, her sponsor.  For her talk, Mara told her story of successes and failures in soccer, and what she learned from both.  Her biggest take-away was to look away from own disappointments, toward service to others, and now her life-long commitment to service.  Welcome Mara!

Last week our speaker was Zack Thode, the manager of the Evan and Catherine Roberts Ranch northwest of Ft Collins.  Zach shared his personal background and explanation of his current duties and activities both locally and in the general agricultural community.  The main presentation was divided into 2 parts with a 10 minute question and answer opportunity in between.

First, Zack did a brief review of the fascinating history of this almost 17,000 acre property – continuous family ownership for 144 years, 100 years of litigation, and, following the death of Evan (2002) and Catherine  (2015), it’s designation as a private charitable trust. This designation ensures that it will remain a cattle ranch and irrigated farm, and a valuable community asset.

The second part of the presentation reviewed the ever increasing water costs and water shortages in Northern Colorado.  The value (and costs) of land for farming vs the value (and costs) of land for urban development were compared . The population increase and urbanization of Larimer County is apparent to us all and there are no new water sources.  New reservoirs and new ways of managing reservoirs (and water use) will be required.  Finally, mention of the Glade/NISP Reservoir project and the proposed Thornton Pipeline made all of this very current.


February 13, a STEM grant for $420 was presented to the O’Dea LEGO Robotics program.  Debra Goodwin and a team of students accepted the award, commenting that the award would help replace worn out parts.  
The following Rotarians were recognized by Melanie Chamberlain for attaining  Paul Harris Fellow status:
Harry Mueller—his first
Chuck Rutenberg—+6
Robert Hoel—+6
Lee Jeffrey—+6
Robert Simmons—+3
Henry Weisser—+2

Last week we were privileged to hear a talk entitled “Peace Literacy” from Paul Chappell, author and international peace educator.  Our speaker shared his background leading to his interest in peace promotion.  He grew up in a multiracial family in Alabama and his youth and violent family environment lead him to develop  what he described as a “mass shooter rage”.  Nonetheless, he subsequently graduated from West Point and became a US Army Captain deployed to Iraq.  Along the way, he realized, absent from his education were  any tools to deal with his rage, trauma and alienation. (ie, peace education).

Through his personal experiences and research he learned that effective peace literacy required  an understanding of “the human condition”.  This requires a rethinking of our basic human needs, ie, turning Maslow’s hierarchy “upside down”. More basic than the physical needs are certain even more  basic needs common to all persons.  And, meeting those needs, are essential to, and enhance our success in meeting our physical needs.

Most basically we need- 1 Purpose and Meaning; 2 Belonging; 3 Self Worth; 4 Explanation (beware of incorrect explanation common in today’s politics)

Meeting these needs provide motivation and success to meet our physical needs and develop peace skills and peace competency.  Peace skills need to be taught.  Mutual respect for one another and for different cultures is required.  Listening and empathy are key.  Ft Collins Rotary Club’s newly formed Peace Fellowship is a local resource.

February 4, committee member Larry Salmen presented RCFC's latest STEM grant to the Gardens on Spring Creek.  The $920 grant will help defray development costs for Pollinator Kits, to be used by all Poudre Schools grades.  This grant continues a long history of RCFC-Gardens on Spring Creek partnerships, including sponsorship of the Children's Garden, and joint sponsorship with Bob and Joyce Everitt of the Great Lawn and Everitt Pavilion.  
February 4, Rotarian Jan Bertholf introduced Captain Brandon Schwartz, who in turn introduced RCFC Cadet of the Month, Emma Lerch.  A sophomore in Army ROTC, Emma has a 3.568 GPA in Biology, 4.0 in ROTC , and scored 294 out of 300 in PT - almost perfect!  She is ranked #1 in her class, and plans to become a veterinarian in the Army.

Last week we were updated on a truly amazing, impactful NOCO program.  The speaker was Tamara Merritt, Associate Executive Director of Hearts and Horses.  When asked if members were familiar with the program, a large number of hands were raised.  Many testimonials proved this therapeutic riding program provides “more than just a pony ride”.

The Therapeutic Riding Center was established in 1997 near Loveland on 23 acres. Two hundred fifty volunteers per week assist approximately 195 clients with (currently) 30 horses.

Four programs exist.

1.    "Therapeutic Riding" for clients with all disabilities-physical, cognitive, social and emotional.

2.    "Changing Leads" which is aimed at “at risk youth”, working closely with local schools.

3.    "Horses for Heroes" - successful with veterans.

4.    "Riding in the Moment" - the newest for clients with dementia.

The physics of a horses’ gait (similar to human gait) and the communication/relationship with the animal seem to lead to magical benefits.  An example, Emma’s story, was moving.  Finally, research collaborations, past and future were described including work with CSU, Children’s Hospital and a pilot study with Columbia University.  As always, FCRC members had great questions for our speaker.

Isaias Braga presented the Salvation Army Bellringing trophy to RCFC for the fifth year running.  RCFC collected $1326, compared to just over $900 for the nearest competitor.  Martin Nelson and Bill Schaffer were thanked for their leadership in this year’s effort.

Wednesday January 30, Chief Tom DeMint presented the Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) to RCFC.  The fire chief discussed the history, the size of the jurisdiction, the budget, governance, number of calls, community risk reduction, the quest for continuous improvement and more.  

The PFA was formed in 1981 through an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Fort Collins and the Poudre Valley Fire Protection District (PVFPD).  This consolidation was implemented to provide a more prompt and effective response to fires and emergencies in the 235 square mile area served by the PFA.  

In 1982, PFA responded to a little less than 3000 calls for service.  In 2019, PFA will respond to 25,000 calls for service.  While PFA responds to all fire emergencies, fire is only a small part of the emergency needs.  Today medical emergencies make up approximately 70% of PFA’s emergency response, and PFA is responsible for maintaining the contract between the community and the regional ambulance provider, UCHealth.  According to DeMint the fire authority responds to medical emergencies because they are typically close, are first on the scene, and can provide emergency medical assistance while waiting for an ambulance.  Chief DeMint provided a very interesting and informative presentation, and RCFC thanks all first responders for their service to our community.  

The January 26th, the Quad club (plus Rotaract) Purple Pins for Polio event raised over $30,000 total.  RCFC's portion was over $9000, providing vaccines for more than 45,000 children.  A very successful event.  Johnny was the champ, again!  Thanks, organizers: Ruth Lutes and Sharyn Salman!

On behalf of the Community Grants committee, Kathy Nicol awarded $3,000 to the Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County.  Accepting this award was Cecilia Reynolds, Program coordinator and Jim Haselmaier, Board President.  The grant will be used to publish participant workbooks for Hope for Today, their adult suicide prevention program.

Committee Chair John Vogt introduced Joe Gawronski, principal of Polaris Expedition art School, who in turn introduced Colton Lee as Student of the Month.  Colton is very active and respected at Polaris and was the founder of SART, the sexual assault resource team.  He plays baseball for Poudre High, with hopes of playing college ball.
Meeting Information

Welcome to our Club!

Meetings: Wednesday Noon
Drake Center (Lunch)
802 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, CO  80526
United States of America
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Immediate Past President
To get your announcement, any other news, or edits into the Rotogear or website please email complete information to editor.rcfc@gmail.com.
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